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Looking For Suggestions for very small online store/3rd party

I am looking for the best solution to deal with selling one product



9:33 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hello All,

I am looking at setting up a new website (currently underway) where we would like to sell one product, a book. We may also use this feature to take donations (we are a nonprofit). What is the best solution for soemthing like this? Should I use a thrid party? It seems like an awful lot of money for one product.
Or shoudl I build a separat online store site? This also seems like overkill for one product and donations.
I want to to be safe and secure and obviously, the cheaper the better.
Any ideas are welcome.


9:36 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This might suit you:


Mr Bo Jangles

10:49 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



11:14 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yep. I wouldn't recommend PayPal as a commerce option for anything larger than a mom-and-pop business, but for a non-profit with one book to sell and a desire to accept donations, it should offer what you're looking for.

Good luck.


11:32 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I suppose as a non-profit organisation you really need to keep costs to an absolute minimum, and the best way to do that would be to use PayPal. Fair enough, the other 3rd party payment processors don't force people to sign up, but they do cost more and are also much more restrictive in terms of when you can get your hands on your money.

I vote PayPal - in this instance. :-)


11:48 pm on Dec 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank You All very much. I hadn't even thought of Pay Pal. That makes a lot of sense.


11:59 pm on Dec 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes paypal would be fine for this, I have a single product site and offer paypal and also paymate express as an alternative for those buyers that are reluctant to register with paypal. Lately about 20% of buyers are preferring to use paymate.

Paymate has lower fees than paypal but is currently only offered to sellers with Australian bank accounts.

From reading the announcements on the paymate website however, it seems that they are about to spread their wings globally so that website owners in any country will soon be able to use it for payments in $USD. This would give some much needed competition to paypal for smaller websites that don't need full scale payment gateways.

marcus anthony

4:38 pm on Dec 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Try Actinic Catalog it costs around 350 but is worth every penny. If you do use actinic or not one small bit of advise take your time and make the site easy to navigate. There are too many sites out there that are a total mess and they must wonder why they dont sell anything


Hope this helps

Marcus Anthony

P.S. Google Add Words is a good place to start advertising but once again take your time do your research and it will work.

[edited by: TallTroll at 1:23 pm (utc) on Jan. 19, 2004]
[edit reason] tidy up [/edit]


4:43 pm on Dec 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I would use Mal's Ecommerce. Easy to set up and use.

marcus anthony

5:16 pm on Dec 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Ill Have a look at that myself

Thanks Marcus


1:33 pm on Dec 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree with the guys that recommend mals-e over paypal.

Paypal relies on your customers registering for Paypal befire buying - which is not only evil but slashes conversion rates.

mals-e - not of that. Slick kit IMHO.


3:27 pm on Dec 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Is anyone using mals-e with a merchant to accept credit cards directly? How does that work for you? Easy to setup?




4:20 pm on Dec 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One of my clients, aromapure.com, uses Mals-e and us. Take a look at the site and the integration to see if it would work for you.


Bruce Townsend

5:36 pm on Dec 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Working as I do for Actinic I was reluctant to post about our own products. But since Actinic Catalog has already been mentioned I think it is only fair to point out that there is also a cheaper LE version. It's limited to 25 products - but that's 24 more than you need. In every other respect it is the same as the full version, but it's only 150. It is easily upgraded if you want to add more products later.

Bruce Townsend


6:47 pm on Dec 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Correct me if I'm wrong, but mals-e is a shopping cart application - it still needs to be plugged into another credit card processor such as 2checkout or verisign or paypal, isnt it? browsing through the product specs I saw 'integration with paypal' and the others mentioned above...

another way to put it , If i were to ask 'what rates/prices do mails-e charge for cc transaction' would this question make sense?


8:15 pm on Dec 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Is anyone using mals-e with a merchant to accept credit cards directly? How does that work for you? Easy to setup?

Yes, I use the Mals premium account ($6/month) to link directly to my Authorize.net based payment gateway. Setup was really easy and it works quite well.

Mals is a easy and CHEAP way to get started with a shopping cart, though you may find it somewhat limiting as time goes on.

I've been looking around for a new shopping cart that works basically like Mals, except having the additional capabilities of:

* Real gift certificates.
* Ability to apply standing discounts on a per-account basis (e.g. I want to give certain individuals a flat 15% off their merchandise, always).
* Ability to allow, but not require, someone to create an account, which would allow them to see all of their orders, check shipping status, etc.
* Better integration with Quickbooks


10:17 pm on Dec 25, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Netsol (network solutions)

Get your domain name & at the same time you can set up a small 1-5-page website from templates. Probably under $100. Can do ecommerce also. I have set up a few sites for friends that simply want the prestige of having a professional looking website for their biz cards. Lawyers , accountants and such....


11:14 am on Jan 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have been running a very small nonprofit for several years now. We have been using PayPal to accept donations and to sell one book. Sounds familiar right? I am posting this comment precisely because I am so much like the original person who started this thread.

First, we had a really really really hard time getting people to donate online with PayPal. In about two years of trying, we got maybe a half-dozen donations this way. Now admittedly, our nonprofit organization was an unusual one, surrounded by controversies, and we had a difficult time with fundraising regardless of the venue. But we did much better with mail-in donations, and also with door to door solicitations. But I don't think the problem with online donations was all about traffic. We were running a newspaper, with an online version also available. We got pretty good traffic.

The problem, I think, was largely PayPal. People don't want to sign up with a payment service just to make a donation, or to make a simple payment. The process of becoming a PayPal member (for potential donors) is relatively complicated and time-consuming. All they really want to do is give somebody their credit card number and get on with their lives. But PayPal asks for much more, and I think people find it very intimidating.

We had better luck selling our book online, but I believe sales of the book would have been higher had we used a more conventional merchant account system that does not ask purchasers to jump through so many hoops.

I have recently become increasingly frustrated with PayPal. First, I had a problem trying to resolve a purchase I made using my PayPal account. It was an e-bay purchase of software. The software turned out to be a crude bootleg copy, not at all as described. PayPal's policy is to not get involved unless the product is not delivered. So if you order a diamond and get a lump of coal, tough-luck buddy. PayPal won't touch your case. E-Bay was not much better, and it took a long, long time to resolve the dispute. I got most of my money back from e-bay, but it was a nightmarish ordeal. Then, E-bay bought PayPal. With these two sleeping in the same bed, who knows what good things will be spawned ...

But getting back to PayPal. My latest problem is that they won't let users have more than one account. So if you have a nonprofit and a for-profit business, as I do, you apparently can't set up two PayPal accounts. Actually, you can, but I'm finding out that you're not supposed to. Or maybe I am finding out that there is a certain way to do it, and I am apparently not doing it right. I think I managed to do it by using different credit cards to set up the acoounts. I may have also given PayPal different addresses. Not sure now.

The second account was for my for-profit business. My for-profit business actually has two distinct divisions. I sell bumper stickers on one web site. I sell chair casters on another site. All the money goes through PayPal, and ends up in the same bank account. At the top of my PayPal shopping cart, are the names of both divisions. Like this: "Casters and Bumper Stickers" (not the real names). This is awkward, and confusing for customers. So I e-mailed PayPal to see if there was some way to avoid this awkward situation. Here is part of their very helpful reply:

"You are allowed to have only 1 Premier/Business Account, we show you have 2. One of these account must be either downgraded to a Personal Account OR closed completely. Please do so to avoid limitation being placed on both accounts.

Our User Agreement also states Credit Card, Bank accounts can not be shared. If the account is active on one PayPal account, it can not be used on another.

A separate credit card, bank account would have to be set up for the additional PayPal account.

I will monitor your PayPal accounts to ensure you are within our User Agreement guidelines."

So now I am quite upset with PayPal. I have been using PayPal for more than two years now. They have collected a fair number of fees from me. I guess I'm small potatoes ...

Anyway, I am looking for other options now. I am considering 2Checkout.com. I am also looking closely at mypaystems.com. I welcome any other suggestions that webmasters may have.



4:49 pm on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

2checkout.com is very amateurish. You don't see any major vendors using 2checkout. They make you leave your site and go to theirs to do the checkout.

Why not use Verisign Pay Flow Pro (NOT LINK) or authorize.net. That way you can stay on your web site the entire time.

Patrick Taylor

1:32 am on Jan 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I would like some advice too. I'm setting up a site just to sell a range of 12 art prints. I've tried oscommerce and find it over-complex for what I want. A couple of years ago I built a shop with Actinic 5 but found it very timeconsuming to customize. Basically I want to build the presentation pages myself but with Buy Now buttons that lead to a third party secure payment facility to take the buyer's details and which can be made to look like my other pages. Mal's Ecommerce does look nice and simple but I know very little about it. I want to avoid PayPal. Any advice would be welcome.


1:15 pm on Jan 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I am in similar situation, but here the problem is even bigger, because I live in Bulgaria, Eastern Europe. If for US citizens a check or money order is just fine, here you have to pay at least 5usd to cash it and wait about a month.
I sell only one book /less than 400 copies/ and all I found so far is IKOBO.COM. What is your opinion about Ikobo?

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